Invest a minimum of $150,000
Get your passport in 3-4 months
Visa-free travel to 135+ countries
A luscious Caribbean island-state, Grenada is known for its vast stretches of white-sand beaches, pristine rainforests, and its spice exports.
For years, Grenada and its sumptuous resorts have been attracting high-net-worth individuals; top-notch sailing opportunities and its crystalline shores have offered many a relaxing getaway.
But the ‘Island of Spice’ doesn’t just rely on nutmeg or the tourist dollars for its sustenance. Grenada is also known for being an offshore haven and for offering a citizenship by investment (CBI) program for those who want to obtain a second passport.
Sure, it’s not a novelty in the region as many of Grenada’s neighbors also have similar programs. So, is Grenada just a case of ‘same CBI, different island’?
For the willing investor, this particular island offers a few distinct advantages, ones that no other CBI country in the region offers.
First and foremost, it’s the only Caribbean CBI program that offers visa-free access to China. If you do a lot of business in that country, it might make sense to go for Grenada over any other citizenship by investment.
Second, Grenadian citizens have easy access to the United States via the E-2 Investor visa. That’s because Grenada has signed a treaty with the US, allowing its passport holders to enter, invest, and work in the United States without any considerable restrictions.
Grenada sure isn’t the cheapest program out there, nor is it the one with the speediest access to a passport. However, the two aforementioned advantages and the solid reputation make it a real contender when a high net worth individual starts thinking about adding to their passport portfolio.
In this article, well take a look at what this CBI program entails, and what its main pros and cons are.
⤅ Grenada’s Economy
⤅ The E-2 VISA – Access to the United States
⤅ Recent Reforms
⤅ The Donation Route
⤅ Real Estate Investment
⤅ New Developer Requirements
Citizenship by Investment: The Basics
A citizenship by investment program is another term for economic citizenship. It’s when a country’s government decides it wants to attract foreign investment by selling its citizenship.
That’s either because it has no other way to raise funds or it finds itself under a sudden economic strain, for instance, after a recent natural disaster.
Usually, a potential investor will have to accomplish one (or a few) of the following actions:
- Make a non-refundable donation to a national fund
- Invest in (government-approved) real estate
- Set up and run a local business, employing local people
- Invest in government bonds or some sort of other financial instruments
Only after the conditions of the citizenship by investment program are fulfilled will the investor be able to get the passport of the country.
Various eligibility factors apply, and many rules and regulations surround the CBI industry. However, it’s a great way to obtain more freedom and achieve one’s financial goals faster, among other advantages.
Grenada is a country in the Caribbean that’s also known as the ‘Island of Spice.’ The second-largest exporter of nutmeg in the world, this country has some of the most immaculate natural environments in the world.
Divers, sailors, newlyweds, and luxury-seekers from all around the world come to enjoy Grenada’s sunshine year-round. It also has a status as an offshore haven, where high-net-worth investors have not hesitated to invest.
What does this small collection of islands off the coast of Venezuela have to offer?
First, even though it’s population of 110,000+ is somewhat small, it’s a young and dynamic one. The median age is just 32.1 years and the population is highly educated too.
Second, even though it’s history is turbulent and colonial (the Spaniards, French, and British all vied for Grenada), it’s current international standing is solid. It is part of the Commonwealth, the UN, and the Caricom – the Caribbean Community organization.
Third, it’s got a favorable location, which doesn’t just mean balmy temperatures of 80F and above year-round. It also means that Grenada sits just outside of the hurricane belt; for the most part, tropical storms pass it by.
And finally, it’s had a stable government for the last 35+ years. The ‘rescue mission’ to rid Grenada of communism took place in 1984 and was led by the United States. Since then, major improvements to the country’s infrastructure have taken place as it grew in leaps and bounds.
Nothing notable has happened in the governance or the politics of the country ever since. And when it comes to state affairs, no news is good news; investors love stability.
The country has had decent GDP growth and an economy that’s small, but robust. However, it’s overreliance on just a few industries means that Grenada’s CBI program is somewhat of a lifeline.
Let us explain.
A country of Grenada’s size has a limited number of ways to make money; it’s also a small economy by virtue.
Grenada has been suffering from foreign debt for a long time and approximately 25% of its budget goes towards debt repayment. When you think about it in global terms, it’s really quite a dire situation.
For a long time, Grenada has been an agriculturally-driven state, exporting nutmeg, cocoa beans, fish and wheat flour, among other products.
It has pushed strongly to become a tourism-focused and a service-driven economy, and has succeeded.
And there is little surprise. Grenada has so many beaches, some of which are rated as the ‘best beaches in the world’ by many publications – cue Grand Anse beach. It also has plenty of waterfalls, rum factories, spice farms… you name it.
Tourism in Grenada is rapidly expanding, mainly because of foreign investment. In other words, the citizenship by investment program of Grenada is doing its job.
Even though the country’s prime minister states, time and time again, that ‘Grenada is not dependent on its CBI program, the numbers tell us a whole different story.
Each year is better than the last since records began.
For example, Grenada granted 851 passports in 2018 (21% increase) and raised $54 million (26% increase). Then, 2019 was a record year when the Grenadian government raised $61 million (13% more year-on-year).
To this date, over 2,100 people have gotten their Grenadian passports by investment.
No need to second-guess: Grenada relies heavily upon its CBI program to drive the economy so it will do everything it can to maintain the program’s reputation.
The Main Pros of Having a Grenadian Passport
China and Russia Visa-Free
Grenada is the only program that offers visa-free access to both China and Russia.
US E-2 Visa Access
Grenada is the cheapest of 3 CBI programs with access to the US E-2 investor visa.
No wealth, gift, inheritance, or capital gains taxes, and foreign-sourced income is tax free.
Pay When Approved
Only make your investment once your application is approved.
Grenada has one of the fastest application processing times in the Caribbean.
Add Your Whole Family
You can add a spouse, children (ages 0-30), parents, and even siblings to your application.
The Grenada Citizenship by Investment Program
Grenada established and started running its CBI program back in 1997. It allowed foreigners to get a Grenadian passport by making an investment in their island-state.
The program stalled after the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001, but was relaunched in 2013 with a new set of rules that streamlined the process and made it a real contender in the CBI world.
The new program not only has a completely new approach, but it also has big competition. So, what does Grenada have that others don’t?
It’s the E-2 visa treaty with the United States.
The E-2 VISA – Access to the United States
Grenada’s E-2 visa treaty with the United States is one of the most unique things about the program.
It’s highly coveted – that’s a fact – and Grenada is the only one out of all of the Caribbean CBIs to have it. Not many other countries in the world have it either; China and India do not, for example.
Thus, having a Grenadian passport will allow you to obtain a visa to live and invest in the United States. That’s an incredible opportunity for those who’ve always wanted an ‘in’ – or for those looking to renounce their US citizenship who want a backdoor into the country. You must, however, make a ‘substantial’ investment.
It cannot be guaranteed that you’d get to go to the United States, but if you’re granted the E-2 visa, it will be valid for five years. It can be renewed for as many times as you’d like, as long as you maintain your ‘substantial’ investment.
Some more of the pros of the E-2 visa are that your spouse can freely get employed in the United States, the processing time of the visa is a short two months, and all your dependent family members can come too.
It’s also worth mentioning that Turkey and Montenegro also have the E-2 treaty, which means you could potentially opt for the CBI programs of those countries to get into the United States.
However, both of those countries also command a higher premium and have some other drawbacks when compared with Grenada.
Ultimately, you’ll need some solid advice when it comes to navigating the CBi world and realizing what the best course of action is for you. The Nomad Capitalist team can help.
Grenada’s CBI program is not without its problems. Just a few years ago, there was an aquaculture project that collected CBI investor money but never did anything to show for it (currently, it’s under investigation).
And although it has not had to use it yet, Grenada signed an extradition treaty with China – the main source of CBI applicants. It was used as a signal to warn criminal offenders that Grenada won’t hesitate to extradite people if such a procedure was ever requested.
As you can tell, Grenada means business when it comes to the due diligence process. There is no way it will compromise on security, the government has said in the past.
Grenada’s CBI program has been tightened in terms of integrity and security in recent years, as it is facing stiff competition from its neighbors as well as other CBI programs in the world (looking at you, Vanuatu).
At the same time, the program leaders have tried to steer a course towards increased revenue too; boosting the integrity and getting more investor money isn’t always a reconcilable effort.
To keep up with the times and stay competitive, the Grenadian CBI program has undergone some reforms.
The government has taken a unique approach: when every other Caribbean CBI lowered its prices, Grenada has actually kept its pricing the same, but added some extra incentives instead.
The country’s Minister of Trade, Oliver Joseph, said: “You would note that there is no amendment that reduces prices. We must have a programme that offers attractive benefits, without having to reduce the price.”
And that’s why the Grenadian CBI is not the most affordable option out there.
Nonetheless, it has a few other advantages, thanks to the recent changes.
- The definition of a ‘dependent’ has changed:
- Parents and grandparents older than 55 years can be added under the main applicant; they do not have to live with the applicant.
- Unmarried siblings older than 18 years of age of the main applicant and the spouse can be added too.
- Children born within 12 months of one obtaining the citizenship will automatically be added.
- Dependent children can be aged up to 30 to be added to an application.
- Dependent children between 18 and 30 years of age no longer have to be enrolled in college or university to be eligible.
- Applicants don’t need to be permanent residents before applying for their citizenship – saving paperwork and, most importantly, saving time.
- Applicants need to retain the real estate investment for a minimum of 5 years to hold on to their Grenadian citizenship.
- Grenada will keep real estate investors’ money in escrow as opposed to handing over the cash to developers. They will only release the funds if developers have their own money vested in the project and can show they are making actual progress with the project.
These changes have certainly gotten the foreign investors listening; Grenada’s CBI program is more popular than ever before.
Want to know what you need to do to lay your hands on a Grenadian passport? Read on to find out.
How to Obtain a Passport From Grenada
Make a Donation
Donate $150,000 to Grenada’s local government fund.
Invest in Real Estate
Invest at least $350,000 in pre-approved real estate.
Pay Government Fees
Pay all application, processing, and due diligence fees.
How to Buy A Grenadian Passport
Even though the CBI program has undergone considerable change, the investment types have remained the same.
Every applicant to the program will need to make a choice: either go the donation route or invest in real estate.
You will need to choose one option and won’t be able to combine them.
And choose wisely (or get help when doing so), because not only does the total investment amount differ, but so do the rules. Whereas you can potentially recoup the real estate investment, the donation is non-refundable, for example.
You must use a local government-authorized agent in order to apply for your citizenship for both the donation route and the real estate investment route.
As a result of your investment, you will be able to obtain a Grenadian citizenship and the subsequent passport. And that’s not just for yourself, but for your dependents too (more on that in the step-by-step section below).
The Donation Route
Just like many other CBI programs, Grenada offers applicants to pay a pre-set sum into its National Transformation Fund (NTF). It’s a fund that is responsible for financing various infrastructure projects in the islands to help Grenada and its people.
The good news is that the contribution is a one-time affair; once you pay it and obtain your passport, you won’t have to worry about anything else.
The sum is $150,000 for a single applicant and $200,000 for a family of up to four members. Each additional child adds $25,000, parents add $50,000, and siblings add $75,000 to the total bill.
But that’s not all, because there are other fees that will need to be paid:
- The application fee is $1,500 – payable once, regardless of how many people are applying.
- Then, there is the processing fee of $1,500 for a single applicant or a couple; add an additional $1,500 for each 18+ dependant and $500 per child aged 0-17.
- The due diligence fee is $5,000 for a single applicant; every additional person aged 17 or older will add $5,000 to the total bill.
All in all, a single person going the donation route will pay $158,000, whereas a family of four (two young children) will shell out $214,000 minimum.
Real Estate Investment
Investing in real estate is another option for those who want to obtain a Grenadian passport. The amount will differ depending on your situation.
Are you a solo investor? You will need to pay $350,000 to buy a Grenadian passport. Meanwhile, if you’re investing with a partner, your minimum investment drops to $220,000 (total investment $440,000).
The recent reduction in price for co-investors follows similar price reductions in other Caribbean CBI program countries.
That said, you probably won’t want to go and live in Grenada (though it’s possible with weekly direct flights to New York, Miami, London, Frankfurt, and other major hubs).
Investors that choose the real estate investment route are looking to either buy and hold, or buy and generate rental income for the duration of five years, for which the real estate must be held to retain your citizenship.
As with many other CBI programs that have a real estate investment option, you are only able to invest in pre-approved real estate projects. These are mostly luxury resorts, villas, and hotels.
You can find the full list here, though we’d also recommend giving it a quick Google, as the official website of Grenada’s CBI program doesn’t seem like it’s updated that often.
When you go the real estate route, the government fees are considerably higher than the donation route, which is something that you should factor in:
- No matter if you’re single, a couple, or a family of four, you will have to pay $50,000 in administration fees for the real estate investment option. Additional people will add $25,000 each to the total bill.
- The application fee of $1,500 will have to be paid.
- A processing fee of $1,500 for a single applicant or a couple; add additional $1,500 for each 18+ dependant and $500 per child aged 0-17.
- The due diligence fee is $5,000 for a single applicant; every additional person aged 17 or older will add $5,000 to the total bill.
After the five year holding period is up, you can sell your real estate and recoup your investment or, in fact, even make a profit.
As of recent, the government has also approved the sale of CBI properties in the secondary market. This means that you’re able to buy an investment off another CBI applicant when they are ready to sell.
New Developer Requirements
The CBI industry in general has been plagued by real estate developers who collect investor money and then stall the actual development, take a really long time to complete it, or never complete it at all.
In fact, about one-third of all Caribbean real estate development projects ever get finished. And in Grenada, that proportion stands at one-third. Investors could never see their money again.
After all, there isn’t much keeping the developers accountable, but Grenada has set out to fix it.
It has recently changed the law to require developers to invest 20% of its own funds into each of their projects. This is so that they would have ‘something to lose’ – not just the money of others – and thus be more diligent about the processes and timelines.
It is hoped that the 20% equity stake will prevent half-built projects and most industry professionals have lauded the change; many have said that the Grenadian CBI program is now in line with international standards.
Those developers who cannot prove they’ve covered one-fifth of all costs with their money will risk losing the CBI capital.
This change, combined with the new rule to keep real estate investors’ money in escrow rather than handing it over, has surely given the Grenadian CBI a boost in terms of accountability and trustworthiness, and have put investors at ease.
The Step-by-Step Application Process
Are you set on obtaining your Grenadian passport? Got an idea of which investment route you’d like to choose?
First, you’ll need to check if you’re eligible:
- 18+ years old
- No criminal record
- Proof of legal income and your net-worth
- In good health
- Not under sanctions, restrictions or bans on entry to the European Union, USA, the UK, and Canada
- Haven’t been convicted for a crime for which the punishment is 6+ months imprisonment
- Are not under current criminal investigation
Note that Grenada is one of the few CBI countries with no nationality restrictions, meaning that applicants of all nationalities are welcome to apply.
Everyone, of course, is subject to stringent due diligence checks – even your dependents.
Speaking of which, the main applicant is allowed to add pretty much anyone related to him or her onto the application for a Grenadian citizenship:
- A spouse
- All children and stepchildren under 30 years old (not necessarily enrolled in higher education)
- All children, regardless of age, who have a mental or physical disability
- Parents or grandparents of the main applicant, 55 years or older
- Unmarried siblings of the main applicant, over the age of 18 and childless
Obtaining your Grenadian passport isn’t complicated; it can be accomplished in five quick steps that will take approximately 3-4 months. The entire process is fully digital.
The timeline is comparable to many other CBI programs, although it’s not the fastest one out there.
While it used to take months for an applicant to put this huge bundle of documents together and it took Grenada even longer to process, there is now a pre-check step.
You can initiate your application process by sending in the main documents.
This recently introduced pre-check step streamlines the application process and allows for the due diligence checks to start, thus saving everyone time in the end.
You will need to submit the following documents: current passport, birth certificate, picture ID, police clearance certificate, education certificate, proof of address, marriage/divorce certificate, bank reference, proof of source of funds, and four different forms.
2. SUBMIT ENTIRE APPLICATION
Once the pre-check is in motion, you can move to execute a Purchase and Sale Agreement and pay the deposit, if you are investing in real estate.
You must pay the government, processing, and application fees as you send in the full application.
3. Processing and Decision
The CBI unit will take approximately 2-3 months to process your application. There won’t be an interview, nor is your presence in Grenada required.
4. PAY REMAINING BALANCE
If your application is approved, you will have to pay the remaining fees, make the donation or finalize the purchase of real estate.
Within 30 days, you will receive a certificate that will allow you to request a passport.
5. GET YOUR PASSPORT
Take an Oath of Allegiance and apply for your passport. You should receive it within a couple of weeks.
Enjoy Citizenship in Grenada Like These Nomad Capitalists
“The E-2 investor visa that I was able to get with my Grenadian passport has been an amazing opportunity, giving me access to investment opportunities in the United States.”
“Initially, I was interested in an Antiguan passport, but after consulting the Nomad Capitalist team, it became obvious that Grenada was much better for me and my life goals. Thanks, Andrew!”
“I wasn’t able to travel to China before without having to deal with the huge hassle of obtaining a visa. Luckily, my Grenadian passport has eliminated all the back-and-forth.”
The Pros of Grenada Citizenship
The advantages of a Grenadian passport are many. It is a unique program by a few counts, and it differs from the programs of its regional and global competitors.
Here are the main pros of having a Grenadian citizenship:
Visa-free travel to 135+ countries. All of Europe’s Schengen Area, the UK, Ireland, some Balkan countries, and some of Latin America are available to you visa-free with a Grenadian passport.
Visa-free travel to China and Russia. If you do business in Russia or China often, Grenada might be a great investment saving you lots of hassle and time in the long-run.
E-2 visa treaty. The investor visa to the United States is accessible to all Grenadian citizens, making Grenada the only CBI program in the Caribbean to have this feature.
Speedy processing. The government has worked hard to process applications as fast as they can by introducing the pre-check step in the application process. It’s not the fastest CBI in the world, but it sure is one of the quickest in the Caribbean region.
Invest only after you’re approved. You won’t have to pay for your investment until after you’re approved for Grenada’s citizenship.
Pass it on. Your Grenadian citizenship will be passed on to your children and their children. Create a legacy that lasts a few lifetimes.
Dual citizenship for life. Grenadian citizenship is for life; you will have the right to live and work in the country for as long as you want. You can also be a dual citizen – there are no restrictions on that.
No language requirement and no interview. The application process is straightforward and you won’t be made to jump through any unreasonable hoops.
Fully digital process. From the document submission to obtaining your passport, the entire process is fully digital. You won’t need to travel to Grenada for any part of the application.
No country exclusions. People from anywhere in the world can apply, even citizens of Iran, Iraq, Afghanistan, and Syria. That said, everyone is also put through their paces in the due diligence process.
Children, parents, grandparents, and siblings eligible. The main applicant can add his entire family under one application. Grenada is the only CBI program to accept siblings, for example.
Attractive tax regime. Grenada has long been a tax haven. It has no tax on income generated outside of Grenada. There is also no wealth, gift, inheritance or capital gains taxes.
No residence requirement. You will not have to visit or live in Grenada for any period of time to obtain or retain your passport.
Process is confidential. None of your personal information will be relayed to any third party and the entire application process is confidential. And your new citizenship will not be reported to the country of your current citizenship.
Easy access from the world’s major hubs. There are direct flights to Grenada from New York, London, Frankfurt, Miami and a few others. If you ever wanted to hop on a plane and visit your home country, you can.
The Cons of Grenada Citizenship
There aren’t many disadvantages to having a Grenadian passport. But there are a few sticking points, especially when the Grenadian CBI program is compared to other programs in the region.
High price-point. The Grenadian pricing isn’t the cheapest in the region, so you will definitely be paying a premium when you opt for its passport.
It’s not as fast as it could be. Efficiency in the Caribbean region isn’t something that’s that important. Coffee breaks and a relaxed attitude – island time – is something that should be accepted.
Trouble renewing passports. Stories of investors having a really hard time to renew their passports have been circulating online. Eventually, they got renewed, but after much trouble. That’s not to say that you will face the same issues, but it’s a little something to keep in mind.
Grenada Citizenship by Investment FAQs
How much does it cost to obtain a Grenadian passport?
The very minimum that it costs to obtain a Grenadian passport for a single applicant is $158,000. It will be $214,000 for a family of four.
Can I apply for citizenship with my family?
Yes. Not only can you apply, but you can also bring your spouse, children, parents, grandparents, and even siblings with you. There are certain conditions that people besides you must fulfill, but Grenada’s CBI program is one of the most inclusive in the world.
Do I need to travel to Grenada to obtain my passport?
No. You won’t need to travel to Grenada before, during, or after the process. There is also no residency requirement, so technically, you will never have to visit the country to become and remain its citizen.
Do I need to visit Grenada as part of the citizenship application process?
No. There is no residence requirement to apply and receive a Grenadian passport.
Is dual citizenship allowed in Grenada?
Yes. You will be able to retain two or more passports, as Grenada’s laws permit that.
How many years before I have to renew my Grenadian passport?
The Grenadian passport is valid for a period of 5 years, after which you will have to renew it.
Your Grenada Citizenship And Passport
Wild rainforests, hidden coves, lush spice plantations, a fun and friendly atmosphere that’s typical in the Caribbean… Grenada has all the prerequisites for a perfect beach holiday.
But as far as you’re concerned, it also offers you the option to buy a Grenadian passport in exchange for $150,000-$220,000.
Make no mistake: you’re definitely paying a premium when you opt to obtain a citizenship by investment in Grenada.
What this Island of Spice has to offer that no other CBi in the region can are two things:
1. Visa-free access to China, giving Grenadian citizens up to 30 days in China per entry
2. Access to the E-2 visa to the United States, where Grenadian citizens can invest and live
If these sound appealing, then Grenada might be worth the premium. That’s especially the case if you have a large and extended family that you want to tag along.
Grenada is one of the only CBI countries to allow adult siblings of the applicant to come, as well as dependent children of up to 30 years old.
Are we confident that the political and the economic situation in the country is stable enough to invest?
Yes, you could certainly say that, especially since Grenada has taken significant moves to speed up the process and simplify the paperwork requirements.
Plus, the recent changes to the way the real estate investments work, especially the escrowing of investors cash and the 20% own-capital rule that developers must now follow, make us even more confident.
As always, if you think you want to pursue citizenship in Grenada, take a step back and evaluate this:
What are your goals? What do you want to accomplish? Is it worth it for you to pay the premium?
You want the best passport for you, for the best possible price. We can help you figure it all out.